A lawyer for two men accused of raping a Louisiana State University student before dropping her on a road, where she was later fatally hit by a car, has claimed video of the alleged sexual assault proves she was in a “coherent state” and consented to the acts.
Madison Brooks, 19, died on Jan. 15 after a vehicle hit her as she was stopped on a dark road in Baton Rouge. Since then, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office has arrested four men for allegedly raping or witnessing Brooks’ rape before dropping her near the crash site.
Kaivon Deondre Washington, 18, and a 17-year-old man who was not identified as a minor are facing third-degree rape in the case, while Washington’s uncle Everette Lee, 28, and Casen Carver, 18, were charged with rape, stated an arrest warrant obtained by the KSLA.
Ron Haley, attorney for Washington and the minor, disputed the allegations, claiming that video of the incident showed Brooks “was intoxicated” but failing to point out that she could not “give legal consent or answer questions” during intercourse with the suspects. . Haley said she got out of the vehicle after an “argument”.
“It is absolutely not rape. Listen, this is a tragedy, this is definitely not a crime,” Haley told KSLA. “You can tell she was intoxicated, yes. To the point where, under the law, you say she is intoxicated, to the point where you cannot legally give consent or answer questions, this was absolutely not the case.
Haley also said that Brooks allegedly told the suspects that she was going to order an Uber after an argument ensued.
“Based on a disagreement, she exited the vehicle. She indicated that she was getting an Uber,” Haley alleged. “I want the public to know that these young people, or really the driver of the vehicle and the young people who were there, did not put her on the side of the road.”
Brooks’ blood alcohol level was four times the legal limit at the time of his death.
According to investigators, the victim and the four suspects met at a bar on January 14, before she allegedly asked to be dropped off at home. Carver told authorities that Washington and the unidentified minor asked the victim to have sex with them, but admitted that she was intoxicated, stumbling around and talking badly.
The men then left her in a neighborhood near Pelican Lakes Parkway. While standing in a dark part of the road at around 3:00 am, Brooks was hit by a vehicle and died hours later in hospital.
Footage of the bar seized by investigators showed that she fell several times in front of at least one of the suspects before they left the business.
Carver told police that Brooks was “very unsteady on his feet, unable to keep his balance and unable to speak clearly without enunciating the words”.
Despite her drunken state, two of the suspects began having sex with her in the car, Carver told police. He later said that he “felt uncomfortable and hated it”.
When asked by investigators if he believed Brooks was too incapacitated to consent, Mr. Carver reportedly said, “I think”.
An autopsy confirmed that Brooks had injuries consistent with a sexual assault attack, the warrant said.
LSU President William F Tate said the university plans to investigate why the establishment where the victim met the suspects was serving alcohol to minors.
“Madison was a daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, classmate and friend to many of you. By all appearances, she was an incredible young woman with unlimited potential,” Tate said in a statement.
“She shouldn’t have been taken from us like this. What happened to her was bad, and our legal system will dole out justice.”
He continued, “In the coming days, we will convene a meeting with these business owners to discuss how their responsibilities directly affect the safety of our students. We will openly work against any company that does not join us in our efforts to create a safer environment for our students. It’s already enough.”
Brooks was a member of LSU’s Alpha Phi chapter. A post on the group’s Facebook page claimed that some of his organs had been donated.
“Madison…made a lasting impact on all of us. She was also a hero and was able to donate her heart and kidneys to save others,” the post read.
“We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends during this incredibly difficult time. And we respectfully ask for time and space so that we can support each other in our healing process.”
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